African Swine Fever
August 29, 2018 — Harry Snelson
Update as of August 29, 2018:
- China reported its fourth outbreak of African swine fever on August 23rd. The outbreaks are located in four different provinces. www.oie.int/wahis_2/public/wahid.php/Reviewreport/Review?page_refer=MapFullEventReport&reportid=27636
- The route of introduction into China has not been identified but the virus reportedly is 100% homologous to the virus introduced into the Caucasus in 2007 and subsequently detected in parts of the European Union and Russia. https://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/downloads/animal_diseases/swine/ed-notice-asf.pdf
- ASF genetic material was recovered from Chinese processed pork products confiscated from 2 airline passengers in Korea that had recently visited Shenyang , China where the disease was first reported on August 3. http://www.promedmail.org/direct.php?id=20180826.5988921
- In addition, Romania also recently reported an outbreak in the country's largest pig farm encompassing 140,000 pigs. https://www.oie.int/wahis_2/public/wahid.php/Reviewreport/Review?page_refer=MapFullEventReport&reportid=27687
- ASF is a highly contagious virus spread by direct contact and indirect contact with contaminated objects. Some biting insects and tick species can carry and transmit the virus. Warthogs serve as natural reservoirs of the virus which affects all members of the pig family including wild boars, domestic swine, giant forest pigs and peccaries.
- ASF can survive for long periods (months to more than a year) in the environment and pork products (cured, refrigerated and frozen).
- Clinical signs can resemble common endemic diseases: high fever, decreased appetite, lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting, abortions. All age groups are susceptible.
- High mortality is a common feature. Death may be sudden or appear 7 to 10 days after other signs of disease.
- Common post mortem lesions (vary by virulence): Hemorrhagic enlarged spleen and lymph nodes (gastrohepatic, renal and mesenteric).
- Whole blood (not serum or oral fluids) is the only validated test available to detect the disease at an official USDA-approved lab.
- There is no treatment or vaccine.
- The virus poses NO risk to human health.
- If you suspect ASF, contact your state and/or federal animal health official immediately.
A number of resources are available online from AASV, NPB, Center for Food Security and Public Health (ISU), Swine Health Information Center and USDA
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